Life with little ones is never the same again.
Everybody who’s a parent can attest to the fact that the lives they once knew are far behind them. The days of blissful, carefree living are long gone. What exists in its place is a frenzy of sleepless nights, tantrums, and rogue single socks littering every room of the house. I’ve listed below eight different places you can no longer comfortably go if you’ve got kids, to which all the angels in heaven and all the parents on earth say a collective and heartfelt "Amen."
1. To a restaurant.
So were you hoping to spend time actually eating your meal, or were you instead just going to devote your time to sheepishly picking up little pieces of rice off the floor while the childless couples in the room give you more stink-eye than you can handle in a week? Maybe you fancy having noodles flung into your hair while you scramble to take a cold bite of your dinner, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that your best bet is takeout — long after those wildlings are fast asleep.
2. To your mechanic.
If you’re comfortable being stared at like a piece of meat while your kids tug on strangers’ pant legs, jump from chair to chair, and treat the recessed window sills like a tightrope, all just so that you can have that check-engine light addressed, then by all means, have at it! But I might just drive around with that mysterious clicking sound under the car for a few more weeks until I come up with some perfectly timed excuse as to why I need to wait a few weeks longer beyond that.
3. To the grocery store.
We’ve all heard (or God forbid, lived through) those nightmares of parents having to leave their full shopping carts in the middle of an aisle while they wearily drag a screaming toddler back out to the car. I’m knocking on wood telling you now that my daughter’s never done that to me, though let me make it abundantly clear that grocery shopping is no walk in the park. She treats the shopping cart like her personal jungle gym, and every food item like something that can be swiped right off the shelf because it makes such a fun SLAM noise when it hits the ground.
4. To the park.
Oh, you thought the park was a safe place? My mistake. Nary can we leave that kid-heaven/grownup-snooze-hole without leaving a trail of my child’s claw marks dragging through the wood chips, the sand, and the grass all the way back to our front door. Best of luck to you, should you ever try to vacate a park with composure.
5. To Target.
It’s just for a couple of things, you say! You’ll be in and out in no time, you swear! And then before you know it, your kid’s giggling endlessly and using the clothing racks as monkey bars while you try to get your own hair unstuck from the zipper on your winter coat. You can try assuring me all day long that you’re only going to run in for some bananas and a little baby shower gift, but I already know that you’ll spend more time fielding questions about the varying colors of apples and the nature of electric toothbrushes than you will successfully navigating the southeastern quadrant of that black hole that calls itself a superstore.
6. To the car.
Oh, you thought this was only about destinations? No, no… this includes the ride, friends. What was once a leisurely trip around the city or perhaps even a fun road trip has turned into a hellish ride with the tiny beings you created with your own body who are protesting seatbelts and cursing the very day you yourself were born. So much for daydreaming and belting out all your favorite songs; driving is now all about death glares in the rear-view mirror, threats and bartering galore, and doing your very best not to swerve off the road when one kid kicks the back of your seat while the other one exercises his god-given right to scream bloody murder for no reason whatsoever.
7. To sleep.
This one’s a given, right? I mean, if you’re not bargaining with God in hopes of getting your baby to sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time, then you’re reassuring your three-year-old that, contrary to their suspicions, you will not be taking down the lights on the Christmas tree in the middle of the night, nor is it need-to-know information that their belly button is itchy, so could they please stop hollering about these things from the other end of the house at 3 a.m. Whatever it is, it’s always something. And it’s never you getting the full and rejuvenating night’s sleep you vaguely recall getting in the years before you became a parent.
8. To the bathroom.
Forget peeing in solitude, forget pooping without a toddler coming at you with a barrage of songs, stories and stuffed animals, and forget taking a shower during daylight hours unless you’re at peace with your small child wreaking havoc around the house while you try and convince yourself that they’re reading stories peacefully in their room. If my kid can scale my dresser, take 19 selfies and call a Nissan dealership while I’m hollering empty threats and desperately rinsing the shampoo out of my hair, then your kid can, too. I promise.